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Four Local Teachers Earn National Board Certification
National Board Certification is a nationally recognized sign of top quality in the field of education
Four teachers from the Flathead Valley were among the 17 teachers from Montana to recently achieve National Board Certification, joining the ranks of the nation’s top K-12 educators.

Michael Christensen, Alyson Dorr and Linda Kaps, English language arts teachers at Columbia Falls High School, and Kirsten Pevey, a literacy teacher at Peterson Elementary School in Kalispell, were recipients of the national honor. The teachers were informed of their success in December by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, an independent, nonprofit organization.

National Board Certification is a nationally recognized sign of top quality in the field of education.

“Teachers who undertake the National Board Certification process call it the best professional development opportunity of their careers. It’s an extremely rigorous process,” said Eric Feaver, chair of the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation (MPTF).

“Our foundation is proud to support Montana teachers who seek this prestigious certification. It is one of the main ways our foundation works to improve teaching and learning in Montana.”

Teachers who pursue National Board Certification must invest an entire year, while also teaching full-time, plus considerable money. It costs $2,500 just to undergo the process.

Since 1997, the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation has provided subsidy scholarships to help teachers pay the cost. In addition, MPTF provides a series of workshops and pays for facilitators – teachers who have already earned the certification -- to help Montana teachers navigate the complicated process.

Increasingly, both nationally and in Montana, lawmakers, school districts, and parents are urging policies that encourage teachers to pursue National Board Certification because they recognize the power this certification has to transform teaching and improve schools.

“Students across the state benefit when a Montana teacher achieves National Board Certification,” Feaver said. “These teachers share their methods and techniques with other teachers statewide. It creates a ripple effect of quality.”

Feaver noted that about 70 percent of Montana candidates succeed in achieving the certification -- among the highest success rates in the nation.

“Our foundation is very pleased to play a role in this level of success,” he said.

Montana now has 139 National Board Certified teachers.

“That’s something the whole state can be very proud of,” Feaver said.
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